Daniel and His Friends Obey God(A)

In the third year of the reign of (B)Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with (C)some of the articles of [a]the house of God, which he carried (D)into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; (E)and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring (F)some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men (G)in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and (H)whom they might teach the language and [b]literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might (I)serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. (J)To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: (K)he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself (L)with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now (M)God had brought Daniel into the favor and [c]goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

11 So Daniel said to [d]the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus [e]the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

17 As for these four young men, (N)God gave them (O)knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had (P)understanding in all visions and dreams.

18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king [f]interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore (Q)they served before the king. 20 (R)And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 (S)Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; (T)and his spirit was so troubled that (U)his sleep left him. (V)Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to [g]know the dream.”

Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, (W)“O[h] king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “My [i]decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be (X)cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap. (Y)However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”

They answered again and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will give its interpretation.”

The king answered and said, “I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the [j]time has changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can [k]give me its interpretation.”

10 The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. 11 It is a [l]difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king (Z)except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

12 For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought (AA)Daniel and his companions, to kill them.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

14 Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; 15 he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, “Why is the decree from the king so [m]urgent?” Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel.

16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 (AB)that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel (AC)in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said:

(AD)“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
(AE)For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes (AF)the times and the seasons;
(AG)He removes kings and raises up kings;
(AH)He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 (AI)He reveals deep and secret things;
(AJ)He knows what is in the darkness,
And (AK)light dwells with Him.

23 “I thank You and praise You,
O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might,
And have now made known to me what we (AL)asked of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s [n]demand.”


  1. Daniel 1:2 The temple
  2. Daniel 1:4 Lit. writing or book
  3. Daniel 1:9 kindness
  4. Daniel 1:11 Or Melzar
  5. Daniel 1:16 Or Melzar
  6. Daniel 1:19 Lit. talked with them
  7. Daniel 2:3 Or understand
  8. Daniel 2:4 The original language of Daniel 2:4b through 7:28 is Aramaic.
  9. Daniel 2:5 The command
  10. Daniel 2:9 Situation
  11. Daniel 2:9 Or declare to me
  12. Daniel 2:11 Or rare
  13. Daniel 2:15 Or harsh
  14. Daniel 2:23 Lit. word

Called to Blessing

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be [a]courteous; (A)not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary (B)blessing, knowing that you were called to this, (C)that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For

(D)“He who would love life
And see good days,
(E)Let him [b]refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him (F)turn away from evil and do good;
(G)Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
(H)And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Suffering for Right and Wrong

13 (I)And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 (J)But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. (K)“And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But [c]sanctify [d]the Lord God in your hearts, and always (L)be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the (M)hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 (N)having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Christ’s Suffering and Ours

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring [e]us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, [f]when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 (O)There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (P)(not the removal of the filth of the flesh, (Q)but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and (R)is at the right hand of God, (S)angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Christ’s Example to Be Followed

Therefore, since Christ suffered [g]for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, (T)but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past [h]lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready (U)to judge the living and the dead. For this reason (V)the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but (W)live according to God in the spirit.


  1. 1 Peter 3:8 NU humble
  2. 1 Peter 3:10 restrain
  3. 1 Peter 3:15 set apart
  4. 1 Peter 3:15 NU Christ as Lord
  5. 1 Peter 3:18 NU, M you
  6. 1 Peter 3:20 NU, M when the longsuffering of God waited patiently
  7. 1 Peter 4:1 NU omits for us
  8. 1 Peter 4:3 NU time


65 You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and (A)knowledge,
For I believe Your commandments.
67 Before I was (B)afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
68 You are (C)good, and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.
69 The proud have (D)forged[a] a lie against me,
But I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart.
70 (E)Their heart is [b]as fat as grease,
But I delight in Your law.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.
72 (F)The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of coins of gold and silver.


73 (G)Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
74 (H)Those who fear You will be glad when they see me,
Because I have hoped in Your word.
75 I know, O Lord, (I)that Your judgments are [c]right,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
76 Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort,
According to Your word to Your servant.
77 Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live;
For Your law is my delight.
78 Let the proud (J)be ashamed,
For they treated me wrongfully with falsehood;
But I will meditate on Your precepts.
79 Let those who fear You turn to me,
Those who know Your testimonies.
80 Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes,
That I may not be ashamed.

Read full chapter


  1. Psalm 119:69 Lit. smeared me with a lie
  2. Psalm 119:70 Insensible
  3. Psalm 119:75 Lit. righteous

14 Happy is the man who is always reverent,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Read full chapter

Bible Gateway Recommends